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and talent, to employ the one or hazard the other, in an institution which will not, or cannot secure him during good behaviour, against the caprice of his superiors, or the cabal of his equals. On this last possibility our author remarks, that the more easily absolute changes are effected, the most certainly will long cabals be prevented, to make a disagreeable person retire. This must be a slip of the pen : surely the author never meant to assert that the way to prevent cabal is to make it instantly successful, or that a long cabal is one atom less desirable than a succession of short ones. No institution will thrive in which every officer is bound to be agreeable to the rest, by any other tie than the opinion of the little public of which he forms a part; for teachers and governors are men as well as the members of the committees; misunderstandings have more need of check than encouragement, and direct legislation on the subject will rather produce the latter than the former.

It may be said with truth that this part of the subject is encumbered with difficulties, and that the mean between degradation to the teacher, and proper control on the part of the governing body, is not easily determined. The fact appears to us to be, that a maxim much quoted of late in regard to the Reform Bill, however irrelevant when applied to the repair of a system, holds most completely with regard to its formation. It is that constitutions are not made, but grow. If the committee of the Royal Naval School, which will, of course, consist principally of naval officers, bring the sense, feeling, and frankness of their professional character, to bear upon their intercourse with the masters whom they employ, a few years will furnish them with the data of legislation, to such an extent, as will enable them to consult the interests of all employed in their institution. But these few years will be the years of trial and difficulty, and upon their management, during this time, will depend whether the school shall be ultimately established or not, and during this period of probation, it will be most essential that they should abstain from minute and vexatious interference with the routine of the institution. When they have obtained masters, in whose honour and ability they can confide, whether by the method of examination or testimonials, or the union of both, and have formed the general outline of the plan on which they insist, let them be content with rigid surveillance, without carrying the spirit of legislation into petty details. Let them recollect that, push their code of regulations as far as they may, they will still be obliged to trust the integrity and zeal of their subordinates, to an extent which they, if they have

hitherto been unpractised in such matters, can have no idea. But they should know better than most, that a fort which is impregnably strong on three sides, is useless, if the fourth cannot be fortified at all; and should therefore consider, whether it will not be their wisdom to select with anxious care, but having selected, to shew by their conduct and demeanour, that the trust which they repose is not forced from them by the nature of the case, so much as a result of well-grounded good opinion. They may sometimes suffer from this line of conduct, but the injury will be partial, and the more easily repaired, as their decision in the case of a dignus vindice nodus will have peculiar strength, derived from their previous non-interference. But if they weaken their authority by applying it to occasions unworthy of it, the genius of discord will take possession of their institution, from the moment when its walls appear above the ground. They may speculate upon various cases, and cut each Gordian knot with great ease on paper, by prescribing the dismissal of all or any of those concerned; but this will not be so easy as they imagine, when it comes to be reduced to practice. On one point, indeed, the committee cannot be too explicit, and on this head we should suppose that men who have passed their lives. in the navy can require no warning. It is to define with the strictest precision, the limits of the duties of the several officers; and this will be the more easy, as in many cases it is of little consequence where the boundary is, provided only it be well ascertained.

We have not room to enter further into the matters contained in the interesting pamphlet to which our remarks refer, but we recommend it to all who are concerned in school education, as it cannot fail to give some useful hints to the best-regulated establishments. We cordially wish success to the rising institution, and hope that the fair promise which it now holds forth, may not be destroyed by too much or too little superintendence, on the part of those who are to direct its affairs.

OCT.-JAN., 1832.




The Introductory Discourse and Lectures delivered in Boston, before the Convention of Teachers and other Friends of Education, assembled to form the American Institute of Instruction. August, 1830. Published under the Direction of the Board of Censors. Boston, 1831.

THE following extract from the preface to this volume will be the best explanation of the title-page.

On the 15th of March, 1830, a meeting of teachers and other friends of education was held at the Columbian Hall, in Boston. It was continued, by adjournment, from day to day, until the 19th, and occupied in the statements relative to the condition and wants of schools in different parts of the New England States, It was thought that advantages would arise from future meetings of a similar kind, and from the formation of a society of teachers. A committee was accordingly chosen on the 18th, to prepare a constitution for such a society, and to take measures for a future meeting. The sketch of a constitution was formed; and, in order that the convention, which might be assembled to take it into consideration, might be usefully occupied in the intervals of business, it was determined to invite gentlemen to give lectures before the convention upon subjects of interest to the cause of education. Such are the origin and occasion of the discourses which form the present volume.'

The convention, which met on the 19th of August, 1830, in the Hall of Representatives, at Boston, consisted of several hundred persons, principally teachers, from eleven different States in the Union. During several days the convention was occupied in discussing the constitution (which is printed at the end of the volume), and in listening to the lectures in the intervals of discussion.

In the last number of this Journal we drew the attention of our readers to the constitution and present condition of the New England free schools, as exhibiting the beneficial effects of making education a part of the state polity. The formation of a society of teachers and others interested in education, is an idea worthy of the inhabitants of those countries, where it is proclaimed as a fundamental principle of government-that the continued existence of their free institutions can only be secured by the universal diffusion of education. We have shown what care the New England people have taken, in their public or political capacity, to provide for the education of all their citizens; and we now invite attention to an association of individuals, whose objects are to elevate the standard of popular instruction; to obtain, by co-operation, a knowledge of its actual condition;

to diffuse it still more widely, and,' what we believe is absolutely essential to the accomplishment of all these objects, to raise the standard of the qualification of instructers*, so that the business of teaching shall not be the last resort of dulness and indolence.' The political condition of the United States is peculiarly favourable to the formation of such societies, and to the rapid diffusion of improved methods of teaching. Religious differences, we believe, do not obstruct the free communication of opinion so much as in our own country; while distinctions in civil life, similar to our own, being entirely unknown, the highest functionaries of government and the humble instructor of youth may meet in social and friendly intercourse. The Americans, too, are early accustomed to public meetings and public speaking; hence their teachers and professors, in general, feel none of that awkwardness, when they address a large assembly, which is so common among really profound thinkers and students in our own country. Those among us who can talk have seldom anything to say that is worth hearing; and though this undoubtedly is often the case in the United States also, still it is a fact that the body of their teachers is infinitely better qualified than our own to take a part in such public deliberations as formed the subject of the Boston convention. Could our own metropolis ever witness such an assembly, in which men of talent and character should publicly deliver their opinions on the end and objects of education, on the modes of teaching particular branches of knowledge, which their own experience has pointed out, and on all matters belonging to the important subject of education,-we feel convinced that more would be done towards the destruction of vicious methods, and the introduction of good ones, than is likely to be effected in half a century under the present circumstances. It is not with the expectation of seeing anything of the kind realized among us at present, that we make this remark; many things must change before such a time can come.

We intend briefly to notice some of the subjects discussed in this convention, that our readers may see that it was not the love of mere speech-making and declamation that brought so many people together. Several of the discourses contained in this volume present views so just and rational, that they deserve to be generally diffused; and they ought, at the same time, to be a matter of interest to us, as shewing how zealous our transatlantic brethren are in improving education—the real and only solid basis of all civil polity.

*This is the American orthography, which, we believe, is universal in the United States; yet they write' monitor,'' orator,' 'professor,' as we do.


The lecture of Dr. Warren on the Importance of Physical Education' is one peculiarly adapted to the consideration of parents, and those who have the care of schools. He endeavours to show in what way literary pursuits may be destructive to health, and also what are the best means of preventing such pernicious consequences. The distortion of the spine is one of the most common results of sedentary habits and want of exercise. As the spine begins to deviate more and more from its proper position, the other parts of the framework of the body also change their position, and the functions of the parts inclosed are necessarily impeded. From a cause so simple as a bad posture, or the want of due exercise of the arms and chest, deformity of the body may gradually arise, with all the formidable accompaniments of indigestion, palpitation of the heart, loss of spirits, &c. Females, from their habits, are more peculiarly liable to this calamity. Dr. Warren asserts, that, of the well-educated females within his sphere of experience, about one half are affected with some degree of distortion of the spine.' We are inclined to think that the females of the better educated classes in America are more subject to such a complaint than our own countrywomen, who in general take much more active exercise than the women in America. But that our females are by no means free from this deformity is obvious to the eye of every common observer. Dr. Warren gives a variety of very judicious directions as to the kind and degree of exercise which is best adapted to preserve the form and the health of young persons; they consist principally of recommendations as to the shortening the time of confinement in schools-the postures to be assumed or avoided during studies-on suitable dress-the importance of walking in the open air-dancing (not in crowded parties)-playing at ball, battledore, &c., in which both hands should be alternately employed. The following remark is well worth consideration: The ordinary carriage of the body in walking should be an object of attention to every instructor. How different are the impressions made on us by a man whose attitude is erect and commanding, and by one who walks with his face. directed to the earth, as if fearful of encountering the glances of those he meets. Such attentions are even of great importance to the female sex, where we naturally look for attraction in some form or shape. If Nature has not given beauty of face to all, she has given the power of acquiring a graceful movement and upright form-qualities more valuable and more durable than the other.' Dr. Warren's lecture contains many other useful remarks as to the necessity

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